tv PBS News Hour PBS April 12, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> brown: george zimmerman appeared in court today after being charged yesterday with second degree murder for the killing of trayvon martin. good evening. i'm jeffrey brown. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, we get analysis on the legal challenges ahead for both the prosecution and the defense. >> brown: then, margaret warner updates the crisis in syria as the government's guns appear to quiet. >> woodruff: from the pacific northwest, tom bearden reports on efforts to ready the region for the next big earthquake. >> on the average, they occur about every 300 years. the last one was 312 years ago. >> do the math. >> exactly.
>> brown: we examine the world of e-books after the justice department charged publishers and apple with price-fixing. >> woodruff: ray suarez talks to political editor christina bellantoni about six "must- watch" senate races this election year. >> brown: and we close with a profile of award-winning poet naomi shihab nye, whose family stories shape her work. >> the minute i could write when i was six years old i wanted to start writing little poems of my own. it seemed that telling a story helped us figure out who we were anyway, where we were in the world. >> brown: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> citi turns 200 this year. in that time, there have been some good days and some difficult ones. but through it all, we persevered. supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history. so why should our anniversary matter to you? because for 200 years, we've been helping ideas from ambition
to achievement. and the next great idea could be yours. >> bnsf railway. >> the william and flora hewlett foundation, working to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: the florida killing that became a national cause moved into court today. the man accused in the shooting death of trayvon martin had his initial hearing. >> he is coming before the court, or will be here soon, i understand. >> woodruff: the scene was the
seminole county jail in florida, and the judge began by reminding george zimmerman of his legal protections. >> remember your right to remain silent, all your other rights that he has told you about, and we'll go forward on some procedural measures here at this time. >> woodruff: there was no plea, and no bail was set. instead, the appearance lasted about five minutes, just long enough for the judge to set a formal arraignment for may 29. the 28-year-old zimmerman had turned himself in wednesday, after he was charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of trayvon martin. after today's hearing, assistant state attorney bernie de la rionda dismissed claims that the charge is not justified. >> we charged what we felt was appropriate and that's what we're going to rely on and we'll leave it at that. again, we look forward to presenting this case in a courtroom of law. we appreciate that you're all here but let us do our jobs.
let the defense and the state do their jobs. >> woodruff: but defense lawyer mark o'mara voiced concerns that zimmerman might be convicted by public opinion, not by the evidence. >> let the system work. it works. and now that we have focus on it, it's going to work even better because i'm sure you'll tell us if it's not working properly. >> woodruff: last night's arrest came 45 days after the martin shooting and the ensuing national outcry over the role of race in the criminal justice system. on february 26, zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, had called 9-1-1 to report a suspicious looking individual, the 17-year-old martin. despite a dispatcher's warning, zimmerman followed martin. a struggle ensued and zimmerman shot the unarmed teenager in the chest. police decided not to charge zimmerman after he said he acted
in self-defense, under florida's "stand your ground" law. martin's parents disputed that account, and maintained their son had been targeted because he was black. they voiced relief last night, after a special prosecutor announced the decision to press charges after all. >> we simply wanted an arrest. we wanted nothing more, nothing less. we just wanted an arrest and we got it and i say thank you. thank you, lord. thank you, jesus. >> this is just the beginning. we've got a long way to go. and we have faith. >> woodruff: it is still possible a judge could dismiss the case against zimmerman before it goes to trial. for now, he remains behind bars, pending a decision on bail. we get analysis of some legal considerations surrounding the pending trial and the potential issues connected with the national attention it's drawing. lynn whitfield is the city attorney for hallandale beach, florida. she's a former assistant state's
attorney for miami-dade county, and has also practiced as a criminal defender. and scott sundby. he teaches criminal law at the university of miami school of law. he has served as a special assistant united states attorney for the southern district of florida. and we thank you both for being with us. lynn whitfield, to you first. we have heard so much already about george zimmerman. we saw him today for the first time standing there looking at the judge, listening. he didn't speak very much. but did we learn anything new or important about him just by watch what we saw? >> i don't think so. i don't think you can really learn about a lot about this case from just looking at a person. i think this is really a case where we're going to have to hear the evidence that's going to be presented during the trial. >> woodruff: and scott sundby, what about you, just by looking at george zimmerman? i'd agree with ms. whitfield. there's not a lot that you can
tell other than you've got somebody who's obviously very nervous and probably very scared of what lies ahead. >> woodruff: well, let me ask you, scott sundby, the orlando sentinel today reported that it had obtained a copy of an affidavit of probable cause it said prepared by the prosecutors which it said contends that zimmerman followed trayvon martin, confronted him and then it goes on to say that his mother identified the screams on the 911 tape as screams of her son. is that significant information? >> well, it certainly helps to explain why the special prosecutor decided to bring charges, whereas before she took over there obviously was a reluctance on the part of the sanford police and state attorney's office to move forward. that is, of course, the evidence which the state is putting forward.
the defense is likely to contest it. i'm sure they're going to be doing forensic analysis of that have 911 call to try to see if they can further identify the screams. but it gives us at least an outline of why the state is suggesting that this deserves second degree murder charges. >> woodruff: lynn whitfield, do you make anything special or important out of what is in this affidavit? >> yes. i think it shows us that the special prosecutor took her time and really reviewed the evidence. some of the evidence that's very important, i think, to be considered in this case are the 911 calls. the fact that the dispatcher told him not to follow, that it's clearly evident that he did follow trayvon and did catch up with him. the fact that you could hear the screams even in the neighbor's homes. of course, voice analysis will probably have to be done and that, as a defense attorney,
would be one of the things that you would be looking to challenge at trial. >> pelley: lynn whitfield, staying with you, so is that the sort of solid evidence that you would expect the prosecutor would have had to have had to have brought the charge of second degree murder? >> i would expect that the 911 tapes would have been very important to the prosecutor because that's something that no one can change. that's already been recorded, it's a part of the record for the police department. they haven't been altered to the best of our knowledge. so i believe that is solid evidence going forth in this case. >> woodruff: and scott sundby, in connection with the second degree murder charge, how solid, how... how firm, how solid does the evidence need to be for a prosecutor to do what the prosecutor in this case did? >> well, so the standard for
bringing the charges is relatively low. it's essentially probable cause to believe that they can prove those charges in court. but any prosecutor worth her salt-- and i'm sure this special prosecutor is quite good-- is going to not want to bring charges which she doesn't believe that she can prove beyond a reasonable doubt before a jury. and so she's going to have to be pretty confident that this evidence is going to stand up in court and meet the pretty high standard for the mental state that they're going to have to show in order to get a second degree murder conviction, which is that george zimmerman in florida's terminology had a depraved mind. that is that he was acting in such a reckless fashion toward trayvon martin that it manifested in extreme indifference to the value of trayvon's life. and that's a pretty high charge. the lesser charge-- which many thought would be brought and which is still a possibility at
trial-- would be something like involuntary manslaughter. so she'd have to have a lot of confidence in that evidence. >> woodruff: lynn whitfield, we did hear martin's attorney... i should say... and his maim is mark o'mara. he told reporters today that a high percentage of murder cases in his experience don't go to trial. that suggests that there's plea bargaining. so how does that statistics... does that statistics... does that sound accurate to you and do you think there's a good chance this may not go to trial? >> well, i've been doing criminal law for over 20 years and i would say that not only for murder cases but most criminal cases don't go to a full jury trial. but it does not mean that it necessarily pleads. there's going to be motions that will be heard by the judge which could result in a dismissal of the charges or it could
ultimately plead to something of a lesser charge. you have not only the involuntary manslaughter but you also have aggravated manslaughter of a child for a child under the age of 18, which we all know trayvon was only 17. or you could have voluntary manslaughter. so it could either plea or be dismissed by the court. if the court finds that the affirmative defense of justifiable homicide may be valid. >> woodruff: what about the police investigation here? there's been a lot of comment about that. what role do you see that playing in this case? >> well, it's interesting, because it could go in sort of both directions. i'm sure that the defense is... while the criticism of the police was that their failure to engage in certain types of investigation led to a reluctance to charge george zimmerman that kind of becomes a
defense argument now which is how much can we rely on this evidence is not all of the "t"s were crossed and the "is" dotted. so if you remember the o.j. simpson case, there was all sorts of arguments about how the blood was accurately collected. there may be similar types of arguments underlying the defense here. i think it's one reason why ms. whitfield is quite correct that the 911 tapes are probably going to play a critical role here because it's the one piece of evidence which isn't going to be altered. but it is going to be... it could play a role in the case in terms of the defense saying that they did not do... lay the proper ground work so how can we accept much of the evidence later brought in, especially interviews with witnesses where they may have made inconsistent statements on what the police said they said and they're saying. >> woodruff: finally, lynn whitfield, this case has received so much public attention. how do you see that affecting trayvon martin's... the case
against george zimmerman and his killing and zimmerman's ability to get a fair trial? >> well, i think the fact that it's received so much public attention will play a part as it relates to jury selection because you're going to have to try to find six people who have not heard about this case or who have not made a fair... up their mind about what the result in this case should be. and i think the fact that we have so much social media... networking now is going to play a part because everybody's all over facebook, all over the country expressing their views on this case. so i think it relates to jury selection. it will play a part as it relates to the evidence being presented in court. it will not play a part. >> woodruff: lynn whitfield and scott sundby, we thank you both. >> brown: still to come on the newshour: the first day of a fragile cease-fire in syria; oregon prepares for the big one; pricing e-books;
six senate races to watch; and poet naomi shihab nye. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: wall street scored a second day of gains today. stocks advanced on upbeat economic data out of china and a strong government bond sale in italy. the dow jones industrial average gained 181 points to close at 12,986. the nasdaq rose 39 points to close at 3,055. the obama campaign opened a new line of attack today on republican mitt romney over tax fairness. vice-president biden criticized romney's opposition to the so-called "buffett rule" to impose higher taxes on the wealthiest americans. in exeter, new hampshire, biden said romney has his own rule-- to give the rich more money in tax cuts than middle-class families make in a year. >> the "romney rule" says "let's double down on the tax cuts for the wealthy." look, folks, this is not about class warfare. this is about math.
this is about math and people's lives. >> sreenivasan: romney had no public events today and did not respond to biden's charge. but his wife, ann, challenged a democratic consultant's criticism of her status as a stay-at-home mother. on wednesday, hilary rosen had said mrs. romney should not be talking about women and the economy because "she hasn't worked a day in her life." ann romney responded today on fox news. >> my career choice was to be a mother, and i think all of us need to know that we need to respect choices that women make. other women make other choices to have a career and raise a family, which i think hilary rosen has actually done herself. i respect that. that's wonderful. >> sreenivasan: the obama campaign and democratic leaders disavowed the criticism of mrs. romney. and first lady michelle obama tweeted that "every mother works hard, and every woman deserves to be respected." later, rosen issued an apology, saying her words were "poorly chosen". the presidential battle in egypt has taken a new turn. islamists in parliament pushed through a bill today to ban
officials who served under ousted president hosni mubarak from seeking the office. it was aimed mainly at former vice president omar suleiman. he announced he's running in the may election after the muslim brotherhood fielded a candidate. egypt's ruling military council would still have to approve the ban. the president of afghanistan, hamid karzai, said today he's considering holding presidential elections a year early. the vote is currently set for 2014, when most nato combat forces are scheduled to hand over security to the afghans and withdraw. karzai said it might be better to schedule one or the other for 2013, instead. he discussed the situation with nato secretary general anders fogh rasmussen during a meeting in kabul. >> this is something that i have been thinking about. i have had some consultations. there are favorables to both the ideas. i have not had a final decision yet and it will not be soon, so... but i am thinking about this and i will do what is good
for this country in either case. >> sreenivasan: for his part, rasmussen said nato is still on track to hand over security in afghanistan in 2014. pakistan's parliament moved today to put relations with the u.s. back on track. lawmakers approved guidelines for reopening supply lines to u.s. and nato forces in afghanistan, but with increased fees. pakistan closed those lines in november after u.s. air strikes that killed two dozen soldiers along the afghan border. the new guidelines also call for an end to attacks by u.s. drone aircraft. death penalty opponents marked a victory today in connecticut. the state house voted last night to abolish capital punishment in all future cases. the state senate had already approved the repeal. the bill now heads to the desk of governor daniel malloy, who says he will sign it into law. connecticut would become the 17th u.s. state to end the punishment. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to jeff. >> brown: next tonight, a cease- fire begins in syria.
we start our coverage with a report from neil connery of independent television news. >> reporter: the syrian army has not gone away, but since dawn, its guns have largely been silent. these images are said to show the battered city of derah, tanks dug in, but in the absence of gunfire, early signs of people returning to the streets. this is idlib, scene of a ferocious bombardment. the shelling has stopped but the government armor remains. it is a similar picture in homs. this opposition fighter says that all is quiet now, but points down to the tanks and other army vehicles that have not been withdrawn as they should under the annan peace plan. the u.n. has acknowledged a significant improvement on the ground, but remains skeptical. >> as of this moment, the
situation looks calmer. we are following it very closely. the world is, however, watching with skeptical eyes since many promises previously made by the government of syria have not been kept. >> reporter: this isolated and unexplained explosion said to have occurred in homs this afternoon appears to bear out those suspicions. as does this incident which the opposition claims shows a gathering of civilians coming under fire in allepo. most of the evidence though seems to point to a fragile peace. with tanks still encircling main centers of protest and army snipers on the rooftops, it is hardly a return to normality. but at least, for many for a while, there has been an opportunity to bury their dead with less fear of becoming victims themselves.
>> brown: on the diplomatic front, russia and china joined the u.s. in urging a speedy dispatch of u.n. observers to monitor the cease-fire on both sides. in washington, secretary of state hillary clinton said the assad government must comply with all elements of the peace plan, not just the cease-fire. >> the regime's troops and tanks have not pulled back from population centers and it remains to be seen if the regime will keep its pledge to permit peaceful demonstrations, opening a sisz for humanitarian aid and journalists and begin a political transition. the annan plan is not a menu of options, it is a set of obligations. the burden of fully and visibly meeting all of these obligations continues to rest with the regime. they cannot pick and choose. >> brown: moments ago, margaret
warner got an update from "time" magazine correspondent rania abouzeid in beirut. >> warner: rania abouzeid, thank you for joining us. what's been the reaction on the ground inside syria from people you've talked to today. do they say they feel freer to go out? >> well, much skepticism. i talked to some people in homs and in the northern idlib region and they say things have been much quieter than they were in previous days but in homs they say there were still snipers that were active in their area as well as tanks and troops on the streets. however they said it was much, much quieter than it was but nobody i've been talked to expect this is cease-fire to hold. you know, they say just look at previous agreements of the assad government and then sort of broken, if it's even applied any of cof t components of the plans. for example, like the arab league plan back in january. you know, even the kofi annan
plan, they say it's not really a smorgasbord that the assad government can choose which elements of it it wants to apply. the cease-fire is only just one element of this. the tanks and troops are also supposed to be withdrawn from the cities and towns. peaceful protests are also supposed to be permitted and there are other conditions as well. >> warner: now, what about the people who were at the heart of these protests back in the days when peaceful protests did take place. what are they saying snowed do they plan the return to the streets? >> well, certainly if we look back at the 13th month uprising, there have been protests after friday prayers every week and during the muslim holy month of ramadan there was protests everyday so certainly we're expecting large numbers of people to take to the streets on friday just based on what activists are saying and, you know, this is always the concern that the assad government had if we look back at the arab league
monitoring mission in january, for example, we saw many, many more people take to the streets because they felt that perhaps with the presence of these monitors in their mid-it is security forces might not be as brutal as they have been in the past. the syrian national council, which is is de facto political opposition group, has called on people to take to the streets in syria to test the cease-fire and to see if assad will keep his guns as silent as they have been today. >> warner: has the assad government given any indication as to whether it will allow those protests to go forward? >> the interior ministry has said that protests... peaceful protests are part of a constitutional right of every syrian and it said that president bashar al-assad signed a decree as part of this reform package that he has implemented lately giving people the right to peacefully protest however the interior ministry said protesters must seek permission and that certainly a lot of the
people they have been talking to are saying they're not going to happen, they're not going to seek permission which raises the question whether or not these quote/unquote illegal protests will be considered a pretext by the assad regime to perhaps... for security forces to try and stop them. >> warner: now, what about the armed opposition fighters inside syria? have they said anything today either publicly or to you about whether they, too, will honor the cease-fire. >> we have heard from several different elements within the free syrian army that they intend to honor this cease-fire however some of the men that i've been speaking to are extremely skeptical and they're certainly not going to be laying down their weapons. there was a report on the syrian national news agency today that said about 160 men had handed themselves and their weapons in to the government because just the day before the syrian government said that anybody who
hands themselves in who "doesn't have blood on their hands" will be released and set free and they can "return to their normal lives." but certainly none of the men that i've been talking to have who have taken up arms against the syrian regime are prared to lay them down. >> warner: well, rania abouzeid, thank you very much. it will be fascinating to see what happens tomorrow. >> woodruff: next, how scientists are preparing for the dangers of an earthquake in oregon. yesterday, a quake with a 5.9 magnitude struck about 160 miles offshore, with no real impact. but increasingly, researchers are worried about specific and lesser-known risks of a major tremor there. newshour correspondent tom bearden reports. >> reporter: yesterday's quake off of the oregon coast caused no damage. but historically, the pacific northwest has experienced quakes as powerful as the one that
devastated japan; they just don't happen as often. scott ashford is the interim dean of engineering at oregon state university. >> on the average, they occur about every 300 years. the last one was 312 years ago. >> reporter: do the math. >> exactly. >> reporter: the national science foundation dispatched an american team to japan shortly after the disaster. ashford went along to study a lesser known earthquake effect-- how sandy soils actually liquefy when the earth shakes, and what happens to structures built on that soil. major cities like portland and seattle are built on similar soils. >> we saw many buildings that just settled and just kept settling. so with... once the ground liquefied, it lost the foundation support, and then with the continued shaking, they just continued to sink into the ground. >> reporter: while surface structures settle, underground utilities tend to rise out of the ground. >> the ground turns into almost
a viscous fluid, and when that takes place, a lot of our utilities like manholes, like sewer lines-- will tend to float up out of the ground, and when something floats like that that's in the ground, it tends to break. >> reporter: ashford says all this can be mitigated if stronger soils are mixed into the sand and different construction techniques are used. >> if you're able to go in and densify them before you build something on top of it, you can mitigate the liquefaction hazard. there's also methods of ground improvement-- stone columns, deep cement mixing-- all are methods to also mitigate that liquefaction hazard if you don't have the opportunity to densify the soils ahead of time. ( explosions ) >> reporter: scientists also replicate liquefaction by setting off explosives underground, like this test on an island in san francisco bay. >> one of the things that we learned in the treasure island experiments was that the resistance of the soil was much different than what we learned from the small-scale experiments in the laboratory.
( explosions ) >> reporter: a much larger test in japan showed how an earthquake can spawn sand boils, a miniature volcano of sand and water, that can spread huge quantities of sand on the surface, making an area impassable. such experiments also showed how liquefaction can cause the ground to shift sideways, a real problem if there's a bridge on top. >> when we're looking at liquefaction and the subsequent lateral spreading, we typically see that along riverbanks. where there's enough of a slope that, when the ground liquefies, you essentially have a slope failure. and you can have several meters of movement of the ground toward ith it.er. and that can essentially rip apart the bridge. >> reporter: the oregon department of transportation has spent more than 20 years working on ways to minimize earthquake
damage and damage from the tsunami that will follow. but they've only managed to retrofit about 100 out of 1,100 bridges at risk. highway division administrator paul mather. >> virtually every bridge in western oregon is at risk. that's the i-5 corridor, that's all of 101, and every bridge that connects those corridors in the state highway system, but there's also the local system as well as private bridges that we have in western oregon. so it's virtually every structure in western oregon. >> reporter: mather says if those bridges go down, the entire coast will be cut off from outside help and people won't be able to evacuate, either. mather says the state is focusing on shoring up the bridges along several lifeline routes to have a better chance of keeping them open. but even that will take years. and mather says at the current rate of bridge replacement, it will be 100 years before every bridge in oregon is earthquake- resistive. but those lifeline routes will only be useful if people on the coast actually survive the tsunami.
pat corcoran's job is to preach the gospel of earthquake and tsunami preparedness. he's a hazardous outreach specialist with oregon state's extension service. he's skeptical of purely engineering solutions. >> so in japan, technology and engineering was a two-edged sword. it was very positive in the structural developments of the roads and infrastructure so people could evacuate effectively. and 90% of the affected population did evacuate effectively. the other edge of the sword of technology is the seawalls lulled people into complacency and to develop in places they probably shouldn't have. >> reporter: he says people on the coast will be on their own when the earthquake strikes, and have just minutes to get to higher ground before the tsunami roars ashore. corcoran says coastal towns must be persuaded to hold regular evacuation drills. >> i think it's true to say that not everybody will be as enthusiastic about preparing for tsunamis as some. it's against human nature, really, to spend a lot of time worrying about these things, even though we know it's going to happen.
again, it's a matter of bringing alignment with what our heads know and how our feet act on the coast. >> reporter: but after japan, corcoran says more oregonians are finally starting to listen. >> brown: on our web site, it's science thursday. and on our science page, tom has more about how engineers in oregon are preparing for the worst-case earthquake. also there, a story about green burials, using biodegradable caskets and urns and no embalming fluids. >> brown: next, how much for that electronic book? we look at the fallout from a price-fixing suit in the publishing world. >> good afternoon. >> brown: the announcement in washington yesterday rippled across the booming e-book market. >> as a result of this alleged conspiracy, we believe that consumers paid millions of dollars more for some of the most popular tles. >> brown: the justice department
accused apple and five major publishers-- harper-collins, simon and schuster, macmillan, hachette, and penguin-- of colluding to raise prices. tlahe tget he aofhe tlleged conspiracy was online giant amazon. it introduced the kindle e-reader in 2007 and quickly became and has remained the dominant player in the market, often charging just $9.99 for an e-book, while fighting off challenges from barnes and noble's e-reader "the nook" and apple's ipad. but the lawsuit alleges that starting two years ago, the publishers and apple sought to break amazon's hold using a so- called "agency model," whereby the publishers set the prices of a book rather than the retailer. >> during regular, near- quarterly meetings, we allege that publishing company executives discussed confidential business and competitive matters, including amazons e-book retailing practices. our investigation even revealed that one c.e.o. allegedly went
so far as to encourage an e-book retailer to punish another publisher for not engaging in these illegal practices. >> brown: three of the publishers harper-collins, simon and shuster, and hachette have already agreed to a settlement. the lawsuit against apple, penguin and macmillan will go forward. soon after the lawsuit was announced, amazon said it would lower its e-book prices. and we debate the issue now with becky anderson, president of the american booksellers association and co-owner of three independent bookstores in the chicago area. and steve berman, a seattle- based lawyer who's leading a separate class-action suit against apple and the same group of publishers for their e-book pricing model. becky anderson, before we get to the fallout of this new lawsuit, step back in time a little and first set some context to help us out here. how much did the e-book, beginning with the kindle, rock and change your world of
publishing and book selling? >> well, i think digital books have been on the market for maybe... been in existence for maybe ten years and it probably wasn't until 2007 when amazon got into it and then other big players got into it, borders and then the nook and barnes & noble. and then independent bookstores got into this market, too. it wasn't until 2010 at the end of that year that we really got into the market and then the formation of the agency model made it very possible for us to compete on a level playing field with the other big players in the e-book market. >> brown: so steve berman, explain that agency model and the case against apple and the publishers. what is it that they did in 2010? >> well, in 2009, the publishers began meeting with each other to discuss their dissatisfaction with the fact that amazon was selling books at $9.99. major stream books by well-known
authors. and they were not happy with this and they were afraid that it would erode hard cover sales, which is where they were making most of their money. at the same time, apple wanted to enter the market but they didn't want to compete with the amazon based on price. so we allege that apple and the publishers got together and they agreed to shift from what was called the retail way of selling books where amazon would set the price to an agency model where apple or amazon or another retailer would be acting as the agent and publishers would set the price. so they all agreed to enter into a dramatic business shift in their model and they also agreed if anyone sold their books at a lower price, than the price apple is selling at than apple would also sell at that lower price. so that in effect set prices
because there's no reason to compete based on price if apple and amazon are always locked into the same pricing structure and what happened next was books that were $9.99 went up to $14.99 and will has been no price competition since that's happened. we're all paying more for e-books than we should be. >> brown: becky anderson, what's the response to that? that and the justice department says that this is... their suit is intended to make the marketplace more competitive >> i think by them saying it's more competitive, that's kind of not true because in the guise of what the government is doing by saying they're making it more competitive but they're making the appearance more competitive because by creating the agency model it created a more diverse marketplace. so many more people were able to be in the e-book business. and by creating the agency model and setting the price like that it made so many more players able to be in a diverse
marketplace, many people selling them, many people talking about books and getting the word out about books and actually price might have been set but actually prices of many e-books went down. the back list of these major publishers that are not books that la r brand new on the market, those prices went down. and there are many offers and promotions put out by the major publishers, those five included in this, that they set some great pricing that put it out there from 25 cents to $1.99, $2.99, $3.99 because they wanted to get the marketplace diverse, get many players into it, make books available at great places for a lot of readers. >> brown: mr. berman, that's the argument against the government case and your lawsuit, i guess is that this lawsuit will just help one company, that's amazon. it will make the environment less diverse and the end hurt consumers. >> well, there's a number of answers to that. number one, there's no evidence
that the environment will be less diverse. and number two the antitrust laws are there to protect consumers of the end product. they're not there to protect competitors. so if someone can't compete with amazon because amazon has a good device and they offer a low price then they're just out of luck and apple and others will find a way to compete with amazon, the market is too big and there's too many players interested in getting into it. so the bottom line is that you cannot get together and fix prices in order to compete and that's what they did here, plain and simple. >> brown: becky anderson, what is it that you're worried about? what do you think might be the impact? specifically in your area on independent bookstores. what's the fallout? >> well, before the agency model took effect, amazon had at least 90% of the e-book market. so that's consider play monopoly of what's out there.
after it took effect they might have 50%... between 50% and 60% of the market which shows that much of the market has gone to a diverse amount of sellers and what it has done is that it's allowed readers a wide variety of choice where they purchased their e-books. with... taking the agency away and if they go back to that pricing it will go back to a monopoly type of thing. the thing is, supreme to realize that amazon is using e books because they know readers are great consumers and also that books are one of the consumer products that it bought at least by most people, a lot of consumers once in a calendar year that once they get that person and using books at the cost at which the publisher is selling, that's basically net pricing or even below net pricing that they're using that as a lost leader to get consumers to their web site to buy a multitude of other products, not just books. so i think what's happening here is that when one player is
controlling the market it hurts. it hurts literature, it hurts our culture. >> brown: brief last word from you, mr. berman? do you see the stakes that way for the book, the world of books as well as the industry? >> well, people have more choice and amazon's market share has gone down because there's no price competition. so, yes, if there's no price competition there will be more players out there but there's nothing wrong with being a monopolist and if amazon could gain a monopoly share by offering the lowest price and consumers want the lowest price they're allowed under the law to do so. if they abuse that monopoly share and drive everyone out of the market-- which is one of the threats people claim our lawsuit is overlooking-- and they drive everyone out of the market by raising prices people will enter and compete if apple raises prices too high. if they raise prices too high they can be sued for abusing the monopoly power.
so the answer is not simply to allow apple and the publishers to fix prices, that's just not allowed under the law and it hurts consumers pahe for books. that's the bottom line the other side can't answer. >> pelley: steve berman and becky anderson. thanks so much. >> woodruff: and we turn to politics, but not the presidential campaign. instead, we focus on what we're calling the "senate six." ray suarez has that. >> suarez: if republicans capture four senate seats, they'll gain control of the chamber. so, the newshour has chosen six key races to follow in the coming months, ones we think will serve as a guide to the battle for the majority this fall. and political editor christina bellantoni is here to explain which contests we've selected and why. why, christina, we should remind people that in every two-year cycle a third of the senate comes up. so out of these 33 seats coming
up in the fall, how many are held by democrat and how many by republicans? >> republicans are only defending ten seats and the democrats are defending 23 seats. s which is what happens in the cycle six years after you've won a giant wave election year. in 2006 the democrats took over the senate in part because of races in some of the more traditional red states-- montana virginia, et cetera. so a lot of those seats are on defense plus you have a lot of retirements which are shaking up the map so one of the reasons we laid out the senate six on our web site today was just take a look at where we're going to see this battle play out over the fall. how it's going to tell the story about the national picture. the republicans, as you know, you've got nebraska and north dakota that could very well flip to the republicans, either democrats are retiring from those seats, they're trending to be more conservative states so that's already two seats down. missouri is a very tough state for senator claire mccaskell, a democrat who won in 2006 defending there. so we picked these races to
really look at where we're going to be able to tell if senate control is up for grabs in the fall. >> so we'll take a quick run through the senate six going from west to east and arngting in nevada. tell us about it. >> so in nevada you had senator john ensign step down from his seat after a host of ethics issues there and he's a republican and he was replaced by senator dean heller, a member of congress. this is always going to be a seat that ensign was going to just retire so heller had his sights on that seat. shelley berkeley, also a member of congress, is running as the democrat there. what's interesting about nevada is this is a presidential battleground state and particularly the obama campaign has put in a lot of resources to make sure they have the get out the vote operation, the make sure they can target latino voters and to activate the harry reid machine. this is harry reid's home state and he's going to be going after this seat. >> suarez: next, montana where incumbent john tester took the seat in a squeaker of an
election in '06. what's the dynamic there? >> well, tester has only served for one term and he's running against a congress member named denny rheeburg. they run at large in montana and denny rheeburg has been winning statewide for a decade so this is going to be a very competitive race lockd from the beginning to tend. it's a state where it's cheap to buy advertising so expect to see ads there. >> reporter: new mexico and open seat with the retirement of jeff ling man. a purple state, they elected a republican government in 2010 but went for obama by 15 points in '08. >> this is a better seat for the democrats. they are probably going to hold it but there is a competitive democratic primary for the nomination there and heather wilson, a former member of congress from new mexico is running for the republican nomination and at first people thought she would be challenged from the right and dispatched because that's what happened. but she wants to be the nominee and republicans are very
confident that she can do well this fall. >> suarez: another open seat in wisconsin the retirement of veteran herb coal. >> so tommy tom,pshon s likely to get that g.o.p. nomination, they haven't selected that yet and he's likely to face congresswoman tammy baldwin running to be the first openly lesbian senator in the country. so that will be a very close race. this is a very important battleground state in the presidential election and obviously there's a lot of attention because of the governor's recall that's going to be this summer with governor scott walker there, a republican. >> suarez: in virginia, one of the longest of the long nights in 2006 jim webb decided not to fight to keep his seat. another open one. >> and virginia always takes on national implications in part because it's in washington, d.c.'s backyard but also because you've got big personalities there and you've got tim kaine, former governor, former democratic national committee chairman, one of barack obama's best friends running for the democratic ticket there and george alan, the former senator, who jim web unseated in 2006
wants his seat back. he obviously still has national ambitions. this is a lot of money is going to be involved in this race and it's a very important battleground state for the obama campaign, president obama needs to win virginia to win reelection so they're pouring a lot of resources there and it's one of those states where mr. obama does well you're going to see tim kaine probably do well but it will be very close. >> suarez: if you want to continue to talk about money, massachusetts is next. outside money is pouring into that state, isn't it? >> yes, there's another one with national implications. senator scott brown won the surprise special election after senator ted kennedy passed away and he was really the vote against health care reform and looked at as this republican savior, the new face of the party. but he's also voted along the lines of massachusetts. he's been a little bit more independent, he voted for the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." so he's remained pretty popular there but democrats very much like their chances with elizabeth warren, harvard law school professor who worked with president obama, they think she can raise a lot of money. she's got more than $7 million
in the bank. this is a big deal there. anditis state where democrats have an advantage. so president obama does well there, you've got probably a good night for her which means the democrats are taking over a seat in that case. >> suarez: but seesawing opinion polls early, right? >> and they're fairly close. you've seen a lot of change here. warren was leading, now they're closely plached. >>. >> suarez: we've got time for a bonus state! maine which came as a surprise that it was even going to be in play but olympia snowe retired. >> yes, so olympia snowe was known as a moderate independent type republican but this is a republican seat so the democrats were very excited hoping their candidate would run. they didn't really get anyone marquee so what happened instead was former two-term governor angus king is running there and he's being very coy about what whether he caucus with the republicans or democrats because if you have a split chamber he could be a king makeer in party control so we'll watch this as a bonus race. king said he vote for president obama in the fall so that gives
you one indication of where he's headed. >> suarez: christina bellantoni, thanks a lot. >> thank you. there's another senate race we'll examine-- veteran republican dick lugar is facing a challenge from the right. gwen ifill reports on that primary fight tomorrow night. >> woodruff: finally tonight, another in our occasional series on poets and poetry. naomi shihab nye is author of more than 25 volumes and winner of numerous awards. she was recently elected to the board of chancellors of the academy of american poets and, as we'll hear, regularly conducts writing workshops around the country for young people. >> my name is naomi shihab nye. i live in san antonio, texas. i have been working with students of all ages for 38 years, encouraging them to write their own poems and stories and discover how much material they have. i took the title for my recent book "transfer" from an actual
airlines baggage tag, but i was thinking about all the different kinds of transfers we make in our lives from one stage of our lives to another. my mother, miriam shihab, exposed her children to art and culture as much as she could, and our father aziz shihab was an immigrant from palestine, a refugee. i was lucky to be told stories as a little child. our father brought tales out of this palestinian background to our bedsides. and the minute i could write when i was six years old, i wanted to start writing little detailed stories, poems of my own. it seemed that telling a story helped us focus, helped us figure out who we were anyway, where were we in the world. "story teller" where is the door to the story? is the door left open? when he sat by our beds, the days rushed past like water.
driftwood, bricks, heavy cargoes disappearing downstream, no matter, no matter, even the trees outside our screens tipped their cooling leaves to listen. my father was very disappointed by war and fighting, and he thought language could help us out of cycles of revenge and animosity. and so, as a journalist, he always found himself asking lots of questions and trying to gather information. he always very clear to underscore the fact that jewish people and arab people were brother and sister. that was in every story that he told. he would say this conflict came about because of political decisions or decisions made by powers in different countries, and it's not the fault of jewish people and arab people. he was convinced all through his life that resolution was possible.
"many asked me not to forget them where do you keep all these people? the shoemaker with his rumpled cough. the man who twisted straws into brooms. my teacher, oh, my teacher. i will always cry when i think of my teacher. the olive farmer who lost every inch of ground, every tree, who sat with head in his hands in his sons' living room for years after." in the poem "many asked me not to forget them," i found the line that actual line in my fathers notebooks after he died, and then the poem i wrote came out in his voice. when he died and i really couldn't imagine how i would continue to live without this voice until i realized i would always have that voice in my days. it was in my dna, it was in my memory. "i tucked them into my drawer with cuff links and bow ties.
touched them each evening before i slept. wished them happiness and peace. peace in the heart. no wonder we all got heart trouble." i do think that all of us think in poems. i think of a poem as being deeper than headline news. you know how they talk about breaking news all the time that if too much breaking news, trying to absorb all the breaking news, you start feeling really broken. and you need something that takes you to a place that's a little more timeless, that kind of gives you a place to stand, to look out at all these things. otherwise, you just feel assaulted by all of the tragedy in the world. >> we swam so easily to the stone village, women in thick dresses, men with smoky breath, we sat around the fire pitching in our own twigs, the world curled around us sizzled and popped. we dropped our troubles
into the lap of the storyteller and they turned into someone else's." >> brown: again, the major developments of the day: the man accused in the florida killing that became a national furor appeared in court for the first time. george zimmerman is charged in the shooting death of trayvon martin. wall street advanced strongly on upbeat economic news out of europe and china. the dow industrials gained 181 points. and syrian government forces halted their assaults on rebel areas, observing a u.n.-brokered cease-fire. online, we've scheduled a live twitter discussion. hari sreenivasan explains when and how to join in. hari. >> sreenivasan: it's tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. eastern.
christina bellantoni will lead the chat about politics in virginia, maryland and beyond. find out how to participate on our homepage. on the "rundown," judy writes about the first-ever discussion featuring all four female supreme court justices. plus, we have more on the e-books price-fixing allegations in an interview with andrew albanese of "publishers weekly." all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. jeff. >> brown: and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm jeffrey brown. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. we'll see you online, and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and david brooks, among others. thank you and good night. hoved by:ding for the pbs supporting progress for 200 >> ti. supporting progress for 200 years.
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